First phase of Snowmass Town Park project could be subject to some ‘scope-cutting’ |

First phase of Snowmass Town Park project could be subject to some ‘scope-cutting’

Cost estimate projects plans for rodeo, parking work nearly $1 million over budget

Bleachers at the Snowmass Rodeo arena on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. The bleachers and grandstands are due for improvements in the upcoming Town Park revamp. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Construction crews could start working on the long-awaited Snowmass Village Town Park revamp as early as this August, kicking off the first phase of work with improvements to the rodeo grounds and surrounding parking.

But based on the latest cost projections, “We need to get to a project we can afford first,” Town Manager Clint Kinney said Monday during a Town Council work session.

Snowmass Village has budgeted just north of $3.7 million for “planning, design and the implementation of the Town Park improvements” this year, according to the town’s 2022 budget.

A “rough order of magnitude” cost estimate for the first phase of the project prepared by MW Golden Constructors rings in nearly $1 million more than that. The proposal, which is based on civil and landscape drawings from February, estimated that construction costs would ring in around $4.8 million, including a 7% contingency of about $338,000 and a margin/fee of around $328,000.

“Obviously, this is over budget, and there (are) locations that we can find some value engineering suggestions,” said Adam Alexander, a chief estimator and corporate secretary at MW Golden.

Rising construction costs are a culprit, according to Connect One Design’s Sara Tie, who has been part of the Town Park design team.

“As Adam gets more advanced in the cost estimating, we are understanding the impacts more and more of the increased cost of construction over the last 18 months,” Tie said.

The cost of earthwork and rodeo arena surfacing, at nearly $1.09 million, is “by far the largest number” on the cost breakdown, Alexander said. The second-priciest line item is the cost of grandstands and bleachers at the arena, which are projected to cost a little less than $455,000.

There are a few ways that planners could bring down the total cost for the town, according to Alexander and Tie.

Part of that is the ‘’value engineering” that Alexander mentioned. That process, according to Tie, means “you’re achieving the same goal, you know, but in a more efficient way.”

But part of the process could also involve narrowing the scope of Phase 1, which “kicks the can down the road” on some components that initially were part of the plan for this phase.

“We’re scope-cutting now to achieve (reductions) because we’re working with such big numbers that we need to get down,” Tie said.

Eliminating some work on play fields near the rodeo arena could trim around $200,000 to $250,000 that was allocated for sodding and some irrigation for those fields, Alexander said. A decorative fence outside the rodeo grounds that rings in at $250,000 is something that the design team could “evaluate,” Tie said.

Numbers are subject to change as designers work on the 60% complete drawings (the current numbers are based on 30% complete drawings, according to Tie). In about six weeks, Alexander will “deliver another cost estimate with less room in it, which will give us a better sense of really how we’re doing,” Tie said.

There may still be a need for some “scope alteration choices” at that point, she said.

Also, the town may be able to offset the cost of bleachers, because the Snowmass Western Heritage Association that produces the rodeo “has pledged $100,000-$150,000 to assist in the purchase of the bleachers,” according to an agenda summary for this week’s council discussion.

“There’s options on the table to try to get as close (to) that number as we can, and there’s going to have to be some give and take to probably hit that 3.7 number,” Alexander said.

The planning commission will see land use approvals for the project around “Juneish,” and the Town Council will see them in “Julyish,” Kinney said.

According to Alexander, crews could get moving on Aug. 25 of this year (working around the Jazz-Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience setup) and then hit pause on Nov. 25 for the winter. They’d remobilize on April 16, 2023, and wrap up by the time the rodeo starts in June 2023. The schedule would allow the rodeo to operate for its full season this year and next year.


See more